HNIC's senior online reporter Tim Wharnsby dishes out the latest news, buzz and inside information in the hockey world.According to reports, the Tampa Bay Lightning and owners Oren Koules, left, and Len Barrie have defaulted on loan payments. (Chris O'Meara/Associated Press)
1. Lightning in turmoil off the ice
According to reports, the Tampa Bay Lightning organization has defaulted on loan payments and the NHL had to advance the financially struggling franchise money to make its payroll this month.
League officials would not comment on the situation, other than deputy commissioner's Bill Daly's statement that the NHL expects "a positive resolution in the relatively near future."
This all started because of a story in the Detroit News on Thursday that confirmed the widow of Bill Davidson, the former owner of Palace Sports and Entertainment, was looking to sell the NBA's Detroit Pistons and possibly the arena, too.
Palace Sports also is the former owner of the Lightning and helped finance the sale to Oren Koules and Len Barrie in July 2008. Koules and Barrie owed Palace Sports almost half of the $200 million US sale price.
The Sports Business Journal, citing unnamed sources, also reported that Sun Sports network advanced the Lightning $2 million to make the final payroll of last season.
2. Carcillo angers opponents by fight
Gaborik dropped his gloves first, however. New York's Sean Avery later exacted a measure of revenge by beating Carcillo in a fight.
"There's no honour in that," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "I don't play the game, I don't wear the uniform, so I don't want to say too much about that. There's no honour in that. It's pretty embarrassing."
Carcillo indicated he engaged because Garborik wanted to fight.
"I don't really know who's on that line that would be able to help him, but yeah, I wasn't expecting him to drop his gloves when he did," Carcillo said.
3. Capitals beat up on Penguins
The Washington Capitals had to wait eight months to meet up with their playoff nemesis last spring, the Pittsburgh Penguins. But it was worth the wait.
"We just wanted to win this game and it doesn't matter how," Ovechkin said. "This group was very concentrated and I think we deserve this win."
4. Upshall beats up on old team
Scottie Upshall, 26, was supposed to be a building block for the Nashville Predators. The native of Fort McMurray, Alta., was selected sixth overall in 2002, but never played a full season for Nashville and was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers three years ago.
He scored his first career hat trick against the Predators on Thursday in his team's 4-2 win and pushed his season goal total to a career-high 17.
"The guys are talking about keeping me in a cage," said Upshall, who celebrated his goals with extreme enthusiasm and scared his teammates. "I was just so excited. They said they need to give me some space so let's hope they have to give me a lot more space the rest of the year."
5. Islanders tough at home
The Nassau Veterans County Coliseum used to be a friendly place for visitors. The crowds were sparse, but the home team wasn't very good and usually a team could return home with two points.
Not anymore. The Islanders now have won six in a row at home and seven of their past nine games in their building. Their improved play in the old barn has pushed them into eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.